The commuter motorcycle segment up to 200 cc may not have been most action packed this year, but it did see some very interesting offerings go on sale. The commuter segment holds the maximum volumes in terms of sales and bike makers are constantly updating and re-imagining products here to improve sales. This year saw a diverse set of launches with fuel-efficient, comfortable and practical motorcycles in the entry-level space, while the 150 cc and above bikes brought a bit more style coupled with performance and affordability in an interesting package. As the year draws to a close, let's a take a look at the top 4 commuter motorcycle launches that impressed us in 2017.
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Hero MotoCorp's major launch this year, the all-new Hero Glamour 125 made a global debut at the start of 2017 in both carburetted and fuel-injected versions. The bike saw a new design language and updated features over its predecessor while employing an all-new 125 cc single-cylinder engine as well. The new motor, replaces the Honda unit that powered the bike over the years and managed to impress the masses and our jury alike. The 124.7 cc unit makes 11.4 bhp and 11 Nm of peak torque, while paired to a 4-speed gearbox. The feature list on the Glamour include a Auto headlamp on (AHO) function, analog-digital instrument console, LED taillight, instant fuel efficiency display (on FI) and Hero's fuel saving i3S system. The result has been a another popular commuter motorcycle for the world's largest two-wheeler maker, which was also crowned the 2018 NDTV Car and Bike Commuter Motorcycle of the Year.
Also Read: 2017 Hero Glamour Review
Bajaj Auto hit the jackpot with the V15 commuter launched last year. The marketing worked brilliantly and those owning the motorcycle were filled with a sense of pride given its association with the now defunct INS Vikrant warship. Extending the same strategy to a more mass market offering, the bike maker introduced the V12 earlier this year, sporting the same design and metal from the V15 but with a smaller 125 cc engine. Keeping things light, the motor makes about 10.5 bhp and 11 Nm of peak torque. The Bajaj V12 also comes with a 5-speed transmission, the only bike in its segment to do so. The bike boasts of a strong mid-range and we liked its flick-able nature within city limits. As we said in our review earlier this year, the V12 could be your first bike or your fifteenth and it wouldn't matter, the pride plays an important role in why you buy this motorcycle and it charm you the same way as the V15 did, but for a good ₹ 6000 less.
Also Read: Bajaj V12 First Ride Review
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Bajaj Pulsar NS 160
On sale internationally for a while now, Bajaj Auto finally launched the Pulsar NS 160 in the country earlier year. The bike was a much awaited one from the Pune-based manufacturer's stable, considering the likes of the Suzuki Gixxer, Honda CB Hornet 160R among others making quite a statement. Nevertheless, Bajaj took its time but introduced an exciting offering packaging the good bits of the Pulsar NS 200 with a newly developed 160.3 cc single-cylinder engine that churns out 15.2 bhp and 14.6 Nm of peak torque, paired to a five-speed gearbox. While the engien is reasonably and impresses in the city, the styling certainly works as a downsized version of the Pulsar NS 200. It's priced competitively too, cheaper even than some of its rivals and puts up a good fight against the other established offerings in this segment.
Also Read: Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 First Ride Review
Easily the most unexpected offerings of the year. Suzuki Motorcycle India pulled quite a surprise with the launch of the Intruder cruiser. The bike maker borrowed the chassis and engine from the Gixxer 155 onto a cruiser bodystyle. Styling preferences aside, the Suzuki Intruder makes a statement and while it may be over-the-top for a some, there's no denying that the bike is a head turner. It also works well that the the Gixxer tried and tested chassis and 155 cc engine complement the Intruder well. The suspension while being the same, has been tweaked to match the cruiser and makes for a well packaged offering. Moreover, Suzuki has differentiated the Intruder by offering ABS, which justifies its higher price tag. The entry-level cruiser segment is nascent at the moment and it is the Bajaj Avenger that has been ruling the roost for years now. The Japanese bike maker took quite the bold step with the Intruder, which much like the bigger version looks menacing and that certainly has got a lot of buyers heading to Suzuki showrooms.
Also Read: Suzuki Intruder First Ride Review